An investigation of models of illness in carers ofschizophrenia patients using the Illness PerceptionQuestionnaire.

C Barrowclough, F Lobban, C Hatton, J. Quinn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    BACKGROUND: Although carers'reactions to schizophrenic illness in a close family member may haveimportant implications for the patient and for themselves, little is knownof factors that influence the way carers respond. In the area of physicalhealth problems, people's models of their illness or illnessrepresentations have been found to be related to the ways they react andcope with their illness. This study examines the use of a modified form ofthe Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ) to investigate illness modelsin a sample of carers of schizophrenia patients. METHODS: Forty-sevencarers participated. The psychometric properties of the modified IPQ wereexamined, and a number of carer and patient outcomes were investigated inrelation to carer scores on the illness identity, consequences,control-cure and timeline subscales of the modified IPQ. These outcomesincluded measures of carer distress and burden, expressed emotiondimensions, and patient functioning. RESULTS: The modified IPQ was foundto be a reliable measure of carers' perceptions of schizophrenia. Carerfunctioning, the patient-carer relationship and patient illnesscharacteristics were associated with different dimensions of illnessperceptions. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the proposal that carercognitive representations of the illness may have important implicationsfor both carer and patient outcomes in schizophrenia.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBr J Clin Psychol
    Volume40( Pt 4)
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001


    • Adolescent
    • Adult
    • Aged
    • psychology: Caregivers
    • Female
    • Human
    • Male
    • Middle Age
    • Models, Psychological
    • Questionnaires
    • Reproducibility of Results
    • physiopathology: Schizophrenia
    • Schizophrenic Psychology
    • Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    • Treatment Outcome


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